Technology + Growth + Sustainability
Australian Technology Park (ATP) has been continuously developed since its establishment in 1996, but the vision for the Park has remained the same: to sustain a thriving, technology-focused, growth-oriented business park producing leading products and services.
As owner of ATP, UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation (UGDC) has actively encouraged new development and employment opportunities at the Park. For instance, the Redfern-Waterloo Built Environment Plan and the State Environment Planning Policy provided the opportunity to create a total of 222,486 sqm of gross floor space.
In 2013, UrbanGrowth NSW on behalf of UGDC sought Registrations of Interest (ROI) in the possible development of three sites within the Park. Strong responses to the ROI demonstrated that the best option for ATP to meet its long-term objectives would be to proceed to Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the sale of the whole Park.
In late 2014, UrbanGrowth NSW launched an EOI to investigate a sale that would enable further development of ATP, consistent with its vision.
In mid 2015, after a comprehensive evaluation of submissions, the NSW Government decided to offer ATP for sale by select tender to five EOI respondents.
Selling the Park as a whole will give any future owners or developers the flexibility to manage the Park and its attributes on a whole-of-site basis, consistent with the State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 and ensuring a vested interest in the success of the Park, including its heritage, community engagement and sustainability programs.
For more information about the tender, contact ATP on +61 2 9209 4220 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is ATP being sold?
The NSW Government has been considering a sale of ATP for some years. Government is looking to sell ATP to enable further development of the Park, consistent with State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 and to release the capital locked in the asset, including for possible reinvestment in the transformation of the Central to Eveleigh corridor.
ATP has been progressively developed since its establishment in 1996. The addition of the Biomedical Building in 2000, the National Innovation Centre in 2006, NICTA in 2008 and Media City in 2009 has seen hundreds of new businesses locate here and has created over 5,500 jobs. A sale of the Park is being investigated as the most efficient and effective way to realise the potential of ATP’s remaining development sites.
It is now almost 20 years since ATP officially opened, and in this time Government has invested in the commercial viability of the site, including by rehabilitating heritage buildings and constructing new entrances, roads and buildings. It now makes sense to consider divesting the site and considering how the funds raised by the sale can be reinvested in transforming the Central to Eveleigh corridor.
Why is Government selling the entire Park instead of just the development sites?
Selling the Park in its entirety will allow any future owners or developers the flexibility to manage the Park and its attributes on a whole-of-site basis. It will also ensure a vested interest in the success of the entire Park, not just sections of it. One owner of the Park can better manage strategic planning for ATP’s heritage, community engagement and sustainability programs when compared to different owners for individual sites.
When will the Park be sold?
Should the tender process produce a submission that meets the Government’s objectives, it is anticipated the Park will be sold sometime in 2015.
What will happen to the buildings and businesses at ATP after a sale?
For tenants at ATP, life will remain ‘business as usual’, with no change to the terms of current lease agreements. Existing leases and management responsibilities would be transferred to the new owner. The sale of ATP provides new opportunities for long-term commitments to ATP’s future, and is expected to increase the Park’s employment potential while driving further growth. ATP Management is always available to meet with tenants to discuss the tender process, and what it may mean for a specific tenancy.
Will the technology and R&D focus of the Park continue?
A number of major tenants already located at ATP promote its identity as a technology and research hub; these include 2014 Business Incubator of the Year ATP Innovations, as well as University of Sydney, University of NSW, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, NICTA and Media City businesses. The sale of the Park to a prospective developer or business will be determined by their potential to make the Park a viable place for business, now and into the future, and will not strictly focus on whether they are technology and research focused. Through the ROI process, interest was shown in the Park from proponents considering technology uses, commercial uses as well as hotels, gymnasiums, and other retail offers. The zoning of ATP prohibits residential development, and this has been made clear to all short-listed tenderers.
Has a decision been made on the future of the ATP Conference Centre?
The value of the Conference Centre to Government and the Park as a whole has been explored as part of a strategic review, and it is anticipated that the Centre will continue with business as usual for at least the next two years. If the Park is sold, the Conference Centre is likely to become a tenant at the Park.
How can Government ensure the new owner will adequately manage and maintain the heritage buildings and items?
ATP’s heritage is covered by a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) endorsed by the NSW Heritage Council, guiding current use and future planning for the site’s heritage.
The ATP site is part of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops listing on the State Heritage Register; the Moveable Collection is also separately listed on the State Heritage Register. As a result, both the Site and the Moveable Collection are protected by relevant provisions of the Heritage Act 1977.
The Locomotive Workshop, National Innovation Centre and International Business Centre buildings are also listed and protected by the State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005.
The Heritage Act 1977 contains provisions covering minimum standards of maintenance and repair for buildings and items. All tenderers gave the Government confidence they were capable of managing sites with significant heritage attributes.
Can Government mandate that the new owner maintains public access to buildings and items?
Future development should be consistent with the existing planning controls for the site. Built Environment Plan 1 requires general public access to be maintained through and across ATP. Prior to the sale concluding, Government will put additional measures in place to ensure public access to heritage buildings and items.